Image: ‘Unity at Dawn’ by Rassouli
As we approach the lunar eclipse in Libra on 15th April, this weekend raises the question of how to reconcile our hearts with our minds when it comes to our connection with others. A conjunction between Venus and Neptune in Pisces reminds us how vital the practice of compassion is at this time in our global evolution. We may believe that compassion is an experience or a feeling rather than a practice: we either feel it or we don’t. To a certain extent this may be true. But an opposition from the Moon in Virgo on 11th April reminds us that compassion is an act of service not an internal experience, and as such we can develop it, enhance it and allow it to grow within us, even in the most unlikely of circumstances.
Most people will be moved to compassion by something, be it the suffering of someone dear or the struggles of those far away. Perhaps our compassionate nature is triggered more by the suffering of animals or of Mother Earth herself. Wherever our heart is moved most readily to compassion becomes the doorway into the growth of a more deeply compassionate nature, shared not only with those things which move us readily, but also with those issues and people we may more easily turn from in judgement. At this time of significant astrological tension, with the Grand Cross building as we speak, we all run the risk of losing touch with compassion in favour of impatience, self-righteousness or just plain old frustration with a life that just won’t offer up the goods as we want it to!
With the Sun, Mercury and Uranus all currently in Aries it can be easy to see things very much from our own point of view with little room for objectivity. Our own perspective will tell us we are right, our judgements are sound and our evaluation of the ‘worth’ of others is accurate. This is what the mind usually tells us when pursuing its own ends. It doesn’t need the distraction of other peoples’ feelings and perspectives to confuse the issue! But Mars in Libra says we can’t avoid them now. We have to expand our minds and hearts to encompass others no matter how much doing so may rile us at times! And with things as intense as they are right now, it may just be the most irritating individual that we have to accommodate in our ‘compassion zone’, the most infuriating perspective that we must begin to explore.
At times like this, the heavens remind us, it can be useful to take in the much bigger picture. Yes, we are all individuals and relate to each other as such, but we are each a reflection of something far greater: a global brain, a universal heart, a collective consciousness which defies any and all boundaries we attempt to impose upon it. As part of this mind-blowing unity we cannot avoid the fact that we are each of us dependent upon the other and to judge and/or reject, without hesitation, another living being is ultimately to reject a part of our own life-support system. No matter who or what they are, we share more with them than anything which divides us, for we breathe the same air, share the same planet and suffer the consequences of each others’ actions whether we recognise it or not.
There is currently a great polarisation taking place, both externally and internally. We may experience it personally as extremes of emotion, one day full of peace the next full of despair, one day loving the next enraged. And we see it in world affairs where social divides become ever more stark and those with power become ever more desperate to secure their position. At such times it’s easy to lose hope or balance and act from a place of panic or fear (often disguised as righteous anger!). But what’s really needed now is a groundswell of compassionate action in our lives; action which says ‘I cannot allow injustice but I recognise that I too perpetuate it. I will address my own prejudices, judgements and condemnations just as I ask you to. Mine may not be as great or as prolific as yours, but they all contribute to the suffering of the whole and as such I take responsibility for my part in that as a gesture of my deep desire for you to do the same’. Will all oppressors and dictators, abusers and deceivers change their ways if we each do this? No. Not immediately. And yes, there will be more suffering to come, but the universal pool of condemnation, rejection and hatred will be diluted, bit by bit, as one person after another looks into themselves and recognises the same seeds of fear, anger, hatred and self-righteousness from which global injustices are born.
There is yet much to change in this world of ours if we are to birth the Aquarian Age in its entirety. And yes, the birth process is a long and arduous one. We are only just beginning to live with these new energies, only just discovering how unity really works. But as we approach the lunar eclipse in Libra we are encouraged to commit to the development of compassion as the ground of our very being: not just reserved for those who trigger it so readily in us, but shared with all living beings in the recognition that we all share so much – love and fear, pain and pleasure, hope and despair; the very air that we breathe and the water which sustains our life. We all place our feet upon Mother Earth as we walk and the more of those steps placed with awakened compassion, the further those compassionate steps will reverberate around the world.